Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clear, bright mornings; dazzling sun, bright blue skies, unseasonable warmth.

For the last week I have been drawn up to the hills again and again, walking the same trail I have walked a million times before. I meet dogs, lots of them, some with a muddy tennis ball in mouth, others just wagging ecstatically to be free. If a dog is outdoors, unconfined, bounding over hills, he or she is happy. It's that simple for them

I try to be present: oak and redwood and laurel and bay trees, bending for the light. the light! The hills unfolding all the way down to the bay. It never stops being magical, and yet I am capable of walking through it without seeing it if I don't stop and make myself notice and breathe.

I am almost almost done with this (I hope) final revision to the play. I have been uncharacteristically neurotic about it--I pride myself on a workwomanlike attitude about writing, "Just do it," a la Nike commercials, without drama or fuss or whinging about writer's block. That's how I like to see myself. But in truth, this play has brought up all my writing demons, including the ones I like to pretend I don't have: the dare-I-say-this? the who-am-I-to-write-about-this, the is-it-any-good, and is-it-even-worth-it demons.

Inside myself I am vowing not to do another big project like this. One-act plays from now on. Poems, the shorter the better. Essays. But not something book-length, not a full two-act play, not something where you have plenty of rope to hang yourself with in terms of structure, character development, etc. No, no, no. What are you, crazy?

At the same time I am making a big effing deal about how much I am suffering over this play another part of my mind knows that it is actually fine, that I'm just trying my best to be faithful to these particular characters, getting to know them better, neither demonizing nor glamorizing military service (hopefully), but presenting real human beings caught up in something bigger and more terrible than they had bargained for. And what they do with that. And I also am caught up now in having bitten off more than I could chew, emotionally or spiritually, and now I am having to chew it. Slowly and thoroughly. or at least try to. I owe myself that much--I owe these characters whom Ihave been working with for four years that much.

At the end of the day it's just work, I tell myself. Finish the thing and move on.

9 comments:

evlyn said...

I am so looking forward to reading it......I am thinking it will be a unique perspective...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

79174.....10113

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Wonderful content. Ended up being trying to find a little while. Longing for many more posts of your stuff in the future.

Dorothy said...

Hi Alison,
So sweet to read your missives when I haven't had the pleasure of playing with you in so long. :)

Sending you love,
Dorothy

Anonymous said...

Alison, I affirm my sincere support that you, and everyone, does exactly what is right for you in every moment. I like an oft-heard quote, attributed sometimes to Martin Luther King quoting Nelson Mandela and also attributed to Nelson Mandela quoting Martin Luther King. Who knows who said it first?! But there is an oft-heard quote that goes like this: I cannot be who I ought to be until you are who you ought to be. I like the quote. I'm down with that quote. Eh eh eh.

So, do what is right for you in every moment.

And, gosh, I wish you journaled here on your blog every day, that you wrote in a flowing, edit-free freedom, sharing your fine being with those of us blessed to stop by and share it.

I come here regularly hoping to find a new treat. Now that you are posting so infrequently, though, when I am rewarded with new words from you, it feels even more special.

Anonymous said...

please come on back here, alison! we miss you and your thoughts, so well-written! best....

Anonymous said...

at least let your blog readers read that you are okay?

Anonymous said...

are you OK? are you coming back?? please let us know. we miss you!